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Dutchman says fatigue was a major factor in his side's lacklustre start against the Potters on Tuesday evening, but squad are focused on securing third spot in the Premier League

Manchester City midfielder Nigel de Jong has blamed celebrations from the weekend’s FA Cup win for their slow start against Stoke on Tuesday night.

City beat the Potters 3-0 thanks to a Joleon Lescott goal that was sandwiched by a superb Carlos Tevez brace, but the cup winners were slow to get out of the blocks.

“We were a little bit flat at first, partly due to the celebrations at the weekend and partly because this game came so quickly after the final, but we knew what we had to do and we did it,” De Jong told the club's official website.

“We were focused and came out and did a professional job against Stoke, which wasn’t easy I think for either side for different reasons, but now all we are thinking about is winning our last game."

City won the FA Cup on Saturday after a Yaya Toure goal beat Stoke.

“We had two days celebrating winning the FA Cup win but we were professional enough to not overdo things and re-focus for the match against Stoke,” De Jong added.

De Jong knows his side face a difficult game against Bolton in their final game this weekend and with City’s win last night pushing them up into third in the Premier League, he is keen to make sure they finish there.

He continued: “It would make a huge difference finishing third because you don’t have to play a potentially difficult qualifying game as well as starting the season earlier plus you are guaranteed to play in the group stages.

“It’s always tough against Bolton and they are strong on their own ground, but we have to go there, be mentally strong and give 100 per cent because we can’t rely on Fulham beating Arsenal.

“If we do what we need to do we don’t need favours from anyone else. It’s been a long season but finishing third would be the cherry on the cake.”

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